In today’s customer experience economy, word-of-mouth and business reviews are more important than ever. Increased competition in every market has forced Marketers to look for ways to generate more referrals for their brand.
Marketers are not in direct contact with customers, so how do they leverage positive customer feedback? How do they ensure a high CSAT or NPS score not only makes everyone happy, but results in increased sales?
Learn how to get happy customers to become true ambassadors and advocates of your business. Single out your biggest fans and have them spread your brand!
Customer Education Specialist
How to get more cutomer reviews, testimonials, case studies and social mentions in 2020!
Nicholas: Hi guys, Nicholas here from Survicate, I’m a Customer Education Specialist.
Tom: Hey guys, I’m Tom and I’m an Account Manager at Survicate. And we’ll be your hosts today!
N: Today we’ll discuss how you can leverage surveys to improve your social proof and as a result – increase sales. We live in a customer experience economy, and whether someone buys from you or not depends heavily on what people say about your company online.
Marketers are constantly looking for new effective ways to more positive customer reviews, testimonials, case studies or social mentions.
T: And rightly so! 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
N: G2Crowd, Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, Trustpilot. You name it. We live in a culture where the ability to obtain positive customer reviews can either make or kill your business.
T: 92% of consumers read online reviews, but only 6% write them. There are ways to increase that number.
N: Exactly, but customer reviews are not where it ends. Along with testimonials you post on your website, case studies you write up and social media mentions you get, they make up an overall perception of your brand.
T: The internet does the selling for you, but you can have an impact on it. Today we’ll discuss how to encourage customers to help you build up your social proof.
N: And we’ll discuss a method that for many years has been missing from a marketer’s toolkit, and that many marketers are still unaware of – surveys. Here’s the agenda of the webinar:
1. How surveys are the best way to get referrals
2. Get more positive customer reviews
3. Boost your testimonials
4. Get more folks to participate in case studies
5. Get more traction and mentions on social media
N: Tom let’s discuss what are the traditional, well-known ways of getting referrals and how surveys are better, right?
T: Sure thing, Nick.
Why surveys are the best ways to get referrals
T: Nicholas, so what are some of the ways to get online reviews that most marketers are familiar with? I guess it all starts with having places where you can be reviewed, right?
N: The more reviews platforms you have a profile on, the better for you. It’s a job for your Marketing Team to set them up. For SaaS companies like us, we’ve known G2Crowd to be most essential.
N: Some other general methods and rough guidelines are: optimize your website – have a lot of CTA buttons encouraging folks to submit a review. Submit a review to your customers first. Left no feedback unattended, respond to as many reviews as you can, even negative ones. Share reviews on your social media to inspire others. You can send out email campaigns asking for reviews and even offer incentives…
T: …such as a discount code or a gift card. Incentives are good for case studies or testimonials, but be careful if you use these to ask for reviews, as some review websites are very strict when it comes to how you can encourage folks to submit reviews.
T: Nick, so what are the key advantages that surveys have over these methods?
N: I’d say these methods are okay, but there are some important aspects that are missing. To get a lot of referrals, you need to make sure that:
– You identify promoters, identify happy customers. That you ask for a referral at the right moment, when the customer is most likely to provide one. The best moments to do it is:
a) when they voice their satisfaction with your product or service, for instance by giving you a high NPS or CSAT score
b) when they are at the right moment in the customer journey – when they repurchased or reordered, when they’ve been your customers long enough (say 5 months), when you can see them spending a lot of time using your product or browsing your website. These are all good moments to trigger a survey.
Some other indicators, though not related to surveys, are when they shared positive feedback with you, when they tagged you on social media
T: These are just some of the signs telling you that the customer is likely to submit a review?
N: Right, and when you ask for it at the wrong moment in the customer journey, you may end up with the exact opposite – a negative review.
T: Right, so apart from asking at the right moments, what else is important?
N: You need to ensure that:
– the process is automated and more or less constant, so you can get a constant stream of reviews, so you can follow up with those who haven’t submitted a review and reduce the manual work
– apart from asking for referrals, you solicit feedback that will help you build a better product or service and will be used by all teams across your company to improve
T: I guess asking a lot of open-ended questions will help, right? And customers will not be left with the impression that you’re only asking for a favor and have vested interested in reaching out to them, right?
N: Yes, they’ll feel you genuinely value their feedback and what they have to say about your company.
T: Okay, so just to wrap it up. If you want to get your customers to get the positive word out, surveys are better than other methods because:
– the timing is right – you make sure that you ask for a review when the customer is at the right stage of the customer journey
– the targeting is right – because you target only happy customers, your efforts won’t be counterproductive and you won’t end up with negative reviews
– you can do it at scale – the process is automated, and you don’t reach out to anyone individually.
N: Yes, you got it right. Just compare these two scenarios. The first one is a frustrated customer browsing your website, looking for Help Center as they are faced with a problem they can’t solve. He notices a “Submit a Review” CTA button and submits a negative review.
The second case is a happy customer who you have identified as being happy as they’ve just responded to your survey, gave you a high NPS score and provided some fantastic product feedback you can use to build a better product.
T: Sounds great! So how to get started, Nick?
N: You can modify this process, but it’s roughly as follows:
– Run an NPS, CSAT or other likert or rating survey.
– Use survey skip logic to identify those of your customers who are happy.
– If they are happy and give you a high score, show them a CTA question prompting them to submit a review, provide a testimonial, take part in a case study or similar.
– If they are unhappy, ask them to provide additional feedback. You can also ask open-ended questions regardless if they are pleased or not – you can never have enough of feedback.
T: Nick, so now that we have a general idea of how to go about it, how about we deep dive into details and discuss the first use case?
N: Sure, let’s do it.
Get more positive customer reviews
T: Before we begin, let me just say that implementing this process at Survicate let us increase the number of reviews 12 times. We used to have one review every 3 months, now we’ve already had 4 reviews in November.
N: Right! And here’s how to use surveys to drive more business.
1. Run an NPS or CSAT, or some other rating survey. We’ll use NPS in the webinar.
2. Decide where you have the biggest customer base. You can either run the survey on your website or send it by email or in-app. We’ll use email.
3. If someone is a promoter and gives you an NPS score of 9 or 10, they are your biggest fans. They are ready to tell others how great your business is. Just need to make it easy for them.
4. Use survey conditional logic to make sure only that only promoters get to see the second step of the survey. Use a CTA prompt to encourage them to submit a review. Here’s a copy we’ve known to work very well:
T: You want to make sure that the positive sentiment of giving you a high score is still fresh in their minds. What about those who don’t respond to your request?
N: Send NPS responses to your CRM or Marketing Automation software. You can do it with Survicate. If someone didn’t leave a review, then follow up with them and send reminders using an automated email sequence.
T: Great stuff, Nick! What are some additional options that are worth considering?
N: You can offer incentives to encourage your customer to write a review – such as a gift card. But, as said before, you need to be cautious. Your customers may feel offended you’re buying their trust and some review sites may not approve of it, you may even get fined. So the messaging needs to be really soft:
T: What about open-ended questions and soliciting product feedback?
N: It’s good if you have something to share with the rest of the team, but as a marketer that’s not your primary goal. I’d say you can include them, because it’s a good way to kick off the process. You can ask customers “How you are liking the product?” and start a conversation in a natural way.
T: That’s great. I believe some folks might be more likely to provide a review if you ask for some genuine product feedback first.
N: Yes, and using an NPS survey not only boosts your number of reviews but your review score as well. The score tends to be higher since it’s mostly happy customers who are vouching for your business.
T: Okay, so what’s the next use case we’ll discuss?
Boost your testimonials
N: Marketers are not in direct contact with customers, so how do they give their marketing assets the credibility they deserve?
T: Surveys do the job well. Prospects are more likely to trust another customer’s testimonial rather than your neatly designed marketing copy. Testimonials show that other people have chosen your product to solve their challenges. They can be used as social proof on so many sections of your website, and help you build trust and overcome sales objections and any doubts your prospects might have.
N: You can either send out an NPS or CSAT survey by email and add a second step to the survey where you ask only the happy customers for a testimonial. Better still, display the survey on your website, find out if people like your content or business and if so, ask them to provide a testimonial and recap their experience with your product or service.
T: A testimonial needs to explain why:
– the customer has chosen you over the competition
– what problems your product is solving
– how their life has changed now that they use your product
Again, it’s a great way for marketers to get testimonials because they don’t have to reach out to customers individually and can do it at scale, and let the automation work in their favor.
Nicholas, let’s move on to the next use case.
Get more people to participate in case studies
N: Case studies tend to be much more powerful than simple online reviews or testimonials which offer just a quick summary of user experience. Case studies deep dive into a user’s story in terms of problems they experienced and how your offering came to the rescue.
T: It’s possible that the customer who took part in your case study has the same traits as your ideal buyer persona, and prospects will be able to identify with the problem because they’re currently facing the same challenge.
N: If you want to win over people who are at the last stages of the buying cycle, case studies are a great way to do so. Offer them concrete information and numbers needed to make a buying decision.
With surveys, you’ll be able to easily single out your biggest fans who are most likely to participate in case studies, and follow up with those you haven’t heard from.
The process is the same as with accelerating customer reviews or testimonials
1. Send the NPS survey 2. Identify your promoters 3. Ask them to take part in a case study
T: Yes, but let’s talk about what makes surveys better than other methods you could use.
a) Thanks to conditional logic you don’t run the risk of contacting the wrong customer and asking them for a case study, because you contact only the happy ones.
– and if someone responds to the initial NPS question and gives you a high score, but then doesn’t click the CTA button, you can follow up with them, as results are saved on a per-response basis, so no data will be lost.
– in other words, if someone doesn’t respond to your request, you can send data into your CRM and follow up by email from there.
Following up increases the chance of them participating in a case study.
T: Let’s discuss the last use case.
Get more traction and mentions on social media
N: A lot of businesses act only on negative feedback and they are right to a certain extent, because frustrated customers can do the real damage to your company. But in the same way that unhappy customers can hamper your company’s growth, happy customers and positive feedback that goes with them should be used as a customer acquisition tool.
T: What are the two situations in which customers are most likely to take it to social media?
N: When they’re very upset with your business or when you made them extremely happy.
T: So suppose you’ve identified someone as being very pleased with your business because they’ve just given you a high NPS or CSAT score, what then?
N: Customer Success or Marketing teams can delight these people by sending a gift. Happy customers are likely to take a picture/screenshot of that and tell the story on social media.
T: In the previous examples, you were asking customers for a review, a testimonial, a case study. Now you’ll be giving something to your customers – it doesn’t have to be anything too costly – it can be a cool branded piece of clothing, an Amazon discount code, anything that doesn’t cause you to go bankrupt.
N: And then you’ll be able to reap the success of a hopefully viral story when the customer shares it on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and tags you. You can even arrange it with the customer, most of the posts that have a wide social media reach have been agreed on in advance, and that’s okay.
T: I think that’s about everything we wanted to cover today. We hope you now have a better idea of how to use positive customer feedback to increase sales
N: And we want to make it easy for you, so if you have any questions, anything you’d like us to address, please fire away now. Tom won’t be here for the QA session, but I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.